View Full Version : Starting Focalin XR


Nnnnnn
10-28-11, 08:23 AM
Hi, i'm back from my third appointement and i finaly got my prescription.:)

The psychiatrist prescribed me Focalin XR. I was hoping for it and i got what i wished for ! I would have been happy with Ritalin too since there is no miracle medication and people respond differently to each of them.

It's just that I was curious about Focalin because it's new and because Focalin is to Ritalin what Dexedrine is to Adderall, it only contains the stronger type of methylphenidate.

The psychiatrist wants me to start with baby steps:

- I start with Focalin XR 5mg. It's the starting dose for children, while Novartis says the starting dose for ADULTS is at 10mg. And it's XR, so 5mg is super low even if it's Focalin (Concerta starting dose is 18mg).

- Then, i'll up the dose one week later by... taking one 5mg XR + opening a caps and taking only half of it, so it'll be 7,5mg XR. While Novartis says to up the dose by 5mg...

Well, i complain but i'll do what she says. I just hope i won't need a high dose because it's gonna take FOREVER. I know i'm being impatient and she wants to go slowly so that my body get used to the medication while avoiding strong side effects.

Anyway, i took my first caps on an empty stomach and:

+ I feel there's "something" going on.

+ I don't feel any improvement in focus or maybe there is because i feel "something", i don't know if i feel calmer or not ? That means I'm confused.

+ I have a small, realy light headache, it's not bothersome at all.

+ I feel a little off balanced, it's really light: is that what "high" or being drunk feels ? I never took drugs or gotten drunk in my life, so i don't know:p . I'm not euphoric at all.

+ I had a weird zooming thing, i mean, i was staring blankly ahead of me, and i ZOOMED like a camera !:eek: It only happened once, 30 minutes after swallowing the capsul: is that what people call the "kick" ? I thought there wasn't any on XR medication.


Well, the "something" i feel is certainly the medication, it's only the first day, tomorow it might not feel the same, or feel anything at all.
I'm happy i feel "something" that means it has some effect on me even if it's the lowest dose ever. I read on the forum a lot of people didn't feel anything at first on mediaction (adderall, ritalin, strattera, ect..), so i'm l kinda lucky i feel something is going on in my brain.

Tomorow will be day 2 and i'll be properly rested, with a good night sleep, since it's what psychostimulants need to work the best.

What do you think about it ?

Kimmy1
10-28-11, 08:41 AM
Since it's your first day and you took it on an empty stomach, it doesn't sound like you are experiencing anything unusual.
I personally don't know if there are specific instructions with Focalin as far as taking it with or without food and I'm NOT a doc. However, there's a good chance the headache and other side effects will subside and you'll see improvement with focusing as time goes on.

Nnnnnn
10-29-11, 01:57 PM
Day two... i'm not confused anymore ! I slept like a baby last night. I took the capsule on an empty stomach.

+I still have that light headache and it makes me sleepy : I yawned all day but still had energy.

+The first release lasts 5 hours then I get more sleepy and I feel the second release comes at the 6th hour. I read some people complaining that Focalin XR only lasted 6 hours for them, maybe the second release (the beads inside the capsule) didn't work for them ?

+Now I know what people means when they say it suppress the appetite. I didn't feel hungry even if the last time I ate was yesterday night, I still ate and it tasted good (i read in the forum that some people can't eat because food tasted bad or it gave them stomach ache). I don't have any nausea or disconfort in my stomach.

+I noticed that yesterday and today I forget to drink, so I'm going to carry a 50cl bottle of water in my bag and I'll drink from it in the morning and refill it in the afternoon.

+The "something", weirdness I feel is actually some sort of calmness, it's more quiet in my head, it's such strange thing I didn't understand it yesterday ! I'm no longer jumping from an idea to another idea, I don't have too many thoughts about different subjects at the same time. It's the first time in my life that I feel this way and even if it's strange, it feels good.

+I don't fidget anymore, I sit quietly. But I still have trouble concentrating, i'm still easily distracted even if it's more calm in my head. My memory is still a mess, I forget what I just did or what I was just said... etc.

+I feel that the "fog" around me is gone, i'm more aware of the things around me, this is so strange ! I notice a lot more things: people faces or the nature around me have more details, it's like i see better but my eyesight hasn't changed.


Today, like every weekends I spent my afternoon walking in the mountain because it's calm and it feels good. I always listen to music on my mp3 player. I usually listen for a short moment then my mind wanders and I no longer pay attention to the music, I jump from daydream to daydream, I think about tons of things at the same time. But this time... I could follow the songs better, I still daydreamed but it was more "controlled" and my mind was less chaotic... I felt soooo relaxed !

I can say it works a little on me because i'm more aware of the world around me but I still have trouble concentrating and it makes me sleepy.

pechemignonne
10-29-11, 02:03 PM
I felt the same way about the feeling of "It's quiet inside my head", it's hard to adapt to a change like that when you feel that for the first time as an adult. It felt really, really strange to me too.
+The "something", weirdness of yesterday is actually calmness, it's quiet in my head, it's such strange thing I didn't understand it yesterday ! I'm no longer jumping from an idea to another idea, I don't have many thoughts about different subjects at the same time. It's the first time in my life that I feel this way and even if it's strange, it feels good.

+I don't fidget anymore, I sit quietly.

+I feel that the "fog" around me has gone away, i'm more aware of the things around me, this is so strange ! I notice a lot more things: people faces or the nature around me have more details, it's like i see better but my eyesight hasn't changed.

These are very good signs!! I really hope the meds work out for you.

Binwooke
10-29-11, 03:00 PM
I am back on Focalin XR from Concerta generic. BIG difference for me in the morning in that I feel a distinct "boost" to my focus and energy which lasts right through until about 4pm. If I need to go longer I have a Ritalin IR for late afternoon boosts, but I currently only take that once a week on average. I do notice a bigger "crash" on Focalin from about 4:30pm until about 7:30pm, through which I have a headache as well as a cognitive fog. But by 7:30pm my Latuda kicks in and although I feel tired, the headache dissipates.

Nnnnnn
10-31-11, 01:16 PM
Day 3:
It's the same that day 2 but it has gotten weaker. I only have the light headache and the sleepyness for side effects.

I realized that it has really subdued my impulsiveness ! But it has done nothing on my concentration, procrastination, etc.

Day 4:
Even more weaker, i'm fidgeting again but less than before starting the medication. The "quiet in my head" is gone and "internal chaos of thoughts" is coming back. The light headache and the sleepyness remains.

It looks like my body has gotten used to dexmethylphenidate since it has gotten significantly weaker from 2 days I took it.
I wonder if the sleepiness and light headache is due to the tiny dose.

The psychiatrist makes me up the dose to 7,5 mg on friday and the next time I'll see her is friday 11.

Nnnnnn
10-31-11, 07:16 PM
Sorry I have correct some mistakes. It's too late to edit the post

Day 3:
It WAS the same that day 2 but it has gotten weaker.
It looks like my body has gotten used to dexmethylphenidate since it has gotten significantly weaker from THE FIRST 2 days I took it.
.

Nnnnnn
11-03-11, 04:34 PM
Day 5:
The same.

Day 6:

I decided to up the dose one day earlier because i'm getting tired of the headache and the yawning.
So I took the 5mg capsule and I opened another capsule and swallowed half of the beads, wich is 7,5mg. I had a lot of trouble dividing the beads evenly, it took me 30 minutes.

Result...
+I HAVE NO HEADACHE AND YAWNING ANYMORE !!!
+I still can't concentrate, I still get lost in my daydreaming, I still fidget a lot even if the medication makes more calm.

I had my first day at work... I can safely say my concentration didn't improved at all. I still can't do the most simple things without scr*wing up. Well, It was my first day so they don't know I am always like this.:D I just hope I'll find the right dosage soon.


Is headache and sleepiness a sign that the dose is too low ?

hollywood
11-03-11, 08:42 PM
I am not sure, were you in Ritalin first ? I know it takes time to adjust but I seem to have a similar response with ficali . I have also had success with if , but maybe it took more time . I cannot remember. Yes that sleepy feeling sucks.

Nnnnnn
11-03-11, 09:26 PM
I am not sure, were you in Ritalin first ? I know it takes time to adjust but I seem to have a similar response with ficali . I have also had success with if , but maybe it took more time . I cannot remember. Yes that sleepy feeling sucks.
No Ritalin before that's why the psychiatrist is starting me with tiny doses (5mgXR, then 7,5mgXR), this is my first medication. I'm already very happy with it even if it's only the first week !

Binwooke
11-04-11, 12:10 AM
I am finding Focalin is working for me this time round, but I am on a much larger dose (40mg) than the first time I took it.
I have improved focus and concentration about 45 mins after taking it, and it lasts for about 7 hours. If I need longer I have Ritalin IR, which gives me a 3 hour boost.

Nnnnnn
11-04-11, 12:38 PM
I am finding Focalin is working for me this time round, but I am on a much larger dose (40mg) than the first time I took it.
I have improved focus and concentration about 45 mins after taking it, and it lasts for about 7 hours. If I need longer I have Ritalin IR, which gives me a 3 hour boost.
To me it works for 10 to 12 hours like marketed for the time being. Yes, i feel it start working in 40 minutes too.

It's amazing how my headache disapeared from upping the dose a tiny bit !

hollywood
11-04-11, 02:14 PM
Today I took concerta in my regular dose that I've been on for years. I'm running a few trial and error tests ( holding one thing constant ) while varrying others. I have discovered a few things. Took concerta today and while my brain feels focused I do feel alot more edgy than just taking the focalin. I guess focalin is alot smoother. I noticed something else as well, I feel that my depth of focus on focalin is pretty good but for some odd reason and I don't know if this is the absolute truth , but my depth of perception and understanding seems better on ritalin and concerta. I think the other molecule the ridgid one must help me stay more alert and more awake while feeling I will admit a bit edgier. So, I feel there is an additive anxiety feeling with concerta , and an additive feeling of unease with boredom with concerta , yet I feel it may help me be alert a bit better. The verdict is out on this yet, but I do feel I'm getting somewhere. Also, I feel as if my wellbutrin dose with my stims is wearing off causing some issues ( 150xl) so I think 300xl may be key. Additionally , I feel the best thing for this hyper edgy feeling is going to be intuniv or tenex. I also tried not taking prevacid ( acid reflux for a few days ) and my stimulant is taking longer to peak and lasting noticeably longer than it was.

Nnnnnn
11-11-11, 05:26 PM
I'm back from my appointment with my psychiatrist:
Tomorow I'll start taking 10mg for a week and next week i'll up the dose by 5mg, so it'll be 15mg.

I told the psych everything (being less impulsive, still fidget but less than before, headache when at 5mg disappeared when i upped the dose, etc) and he said it was great that I responded well to the medication, all I need is finding the right dose and she said I most likely WON'T need a high dose since this tiny dose already some good effects on me. To me it's a huge improvement even if i'm not able to concentrate yet.

:)

Chace90
11-14-11, 08:07 PM
I was taking focaliln xr 15mg. It worked pretty good but it increased my heart rate from about 78-90 and it would randomly jump up to over 100 so I decided to try something else. It also oddly made me a bit tired or relaxed when I took it despite the increased heart rate. It did however help with hyperactivity, focus, and memory. It also wasn't as rough as ritalin(ritalin for me was sometimes too physically stimulating).

Nnnnnn
11-14-11, 08:23 PM
I was taking focaliln xr 15mg. It worked pretty good but it increased my heart rate from about 78-90 and it would randomly jump up to over 100 so I decided to try something else. It also oddly made me a bit tired or relaxed when I took it despite the increased heart rate. It did however help with hyperactivity, focus, and memory. It also wasn't as rough as ritalin(ritalin for me was sometimes too physically stimulating).
Thanks for the infos !
My heart beat faster when the medication starts working but it goes back to normal after 30 minures or less. I have no problems with the medication, I feel fortunate I just need to find the right dosage.

ByStarlight
11-15-11, 01:00 AM
Glad you posted updates on your trials with Focalin. I've been wondering how other people feel on this med, I am currently on 15mg of the same thing and I haven't seen much of posts on this particular thread, so thanks. Are you still on 15mg? I have the next appointment on Thursday, and for the most part my doc has kept me on similar schedule as yours. Except I thought it was kind of curious how your doc had you trying 7.5mg?

Mine started me on 5mg, said that if I didn't feel much for the first few days then take two a day. The first day I tried it, I felt an immediate difference. much calmer mind like you, but not much else for the other things. So the day after for two weeks I took 2 5mg/day and that was when I noticed all my other symptoms were eased, like concentration. I could actually direct my focus on whatever I wanted!! Amazing. I have never known what a regular thought process felt like.

I seem to get used to this particular stimulant pretty quickly. But it's the only one I've tried so they might all be that way. My doc also told me not to take it every day to help with my tolerance, which I've been doing but I ended up getting moved up a bit to 15mg anyway. This feels like it is a dose that could work for a while. I am going to continue taking 2 or 3 days off from it a week to maintain the efficiency, because it really helps and I don't want to keep telling her that it's not working.

Keep posting if you have the chance I would love to hear more updates! :)

Nnnnnn
11-15-11, 05:19 AM
Glad you posted updates on your trials with Focalin. I've been wondering how other people feel on this med, I am currently on 15mg of the same thing and I haven't seen much of posts on this particular thread, so thanks. Are you still on 15mg? I have the next appointment on Thursday, and for the most part my doc has kept me on similar schedule as yours. Except I thought it was kind of curious how your doc had you trying 7.5mg?

Mine started me on 5mg, said that if I didn't feel much for the first few days then take two a day. The first day I tried it, I felt an immediate difference. much calmer mind like you, but not much else for the other things. So the day after for two weeks I took 2 5mg/day and that was when I noticed all my other symptoms were eased, like concentration. I could actually direct my focus on whatever I wanted!! Amazing. I have never known what a regular thought process felt like.

I seem to get used to this particular stimulant pretty quickly. But it's the only one I've tried so they might all be that way. My doc also told me not to take it every day to help with my tolerance, which I've been doing but I ended up getting moved up a bit to 15mg anyway. This feels like it is a dose that could work for a while. I am going to continue taking 2 or 3 days off from it a week to maintain the efficiency, because it really helps and I don't want to keep telling her that it's not working.

Keep posting if you have the chance I would love to hear more updates! :)

Thanks,

I'm still on 10 mg for the moment, I'll move up to 15mg on friday. I was curious too about the 7,5mg but my psychiatrist was afraid of starting too strong because It's my first med and I never took any Ritalin before (or any illegal drugs that stimulates the brain). The psychiatrist wanted my body to get used to the medication slowly and wanted to see if I was responding well.

The usual dosage for an adult is 20 mg to 40mg so if 15mg is getting weaker after a few days, it might just mean that you need a higher dosage. :)

I was told too about taking days off, but i'm a student, i have to do my homework during the weekends and part time work. But I plan on taking days off every two weeks for two days when I find the right dosage.:)

I hope it goes well for you !

Nnnnnn
11-18-11, 08:05 PM
I upped the dose and... it's better !
I notice that my concentration is little better !

ByStarlight
11-18-11, 09:19 PM
I kinda get the tired feeling.. but it's like a sudden tired, when it's wearing off. I think the only complaint I have with timed release is the obvious highs and lows as it's working throughout the day. This is the first stimulant I have tried and I wonder if all timed release are like that? It's not that bad, but it's not consistent either. And sometimes it feels like it's not quite hitting the mark, so to speak. There's things it fixes and then things it doesn't reach; like my concentration. My attention span is still pretty shot.

Nnnnnn
11-22-11, 02:36 PM
I can say that 15mg is a lot better than 10mg.

It gives me motivation to do things, it gives me energy.

And the sleepy feeling has gone away (it only comes when it wears off at the end of the day).

Well, I still procrastinate on the things I really want to do but I do other things I couldn't make myself do (what usually people normaly do).
This is awsome !

WorkAholic
12-03-11, 03:30 PM
Interesting thread. I wonder if I should try a lower dose since I take 20 mg of focalin in morning and then 10mg in the afternoon and all it really does it make me sleepy. It's so hard trying to find the right combinations.

Thanks for the thread!

Nnnnnn
12-30-11, 11:14 PM
I'm now at 20mg and it's better. I no longer have any side effects.

leftbehind126
01-26-12, 11:13 AM
It's good to hear you are having much better results than I am.

Do you get any headache from the 20?

mjoy79
02-22-12, 07:03 PM
I started out on the 20mg and I notice it starts to wear off after about 7-8 hours. Kinda stinks because I still have several hours to go until its time for bed. And the last hour or two of work I'm pretty zoned out.